REH Word of the Week tophet

noun

  1. An extremely unpleasant or painful condition or place; Hell.

[origin: Middle English; from Late Latin Topheth, from Hebrew topheth]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

God is God and Mahommed his prophet;
Idols stared with their carven eyes
As I went down to a marble Tophet
Where misers glow and the worm never dies.

The first of the stairs were frozen marble,
The second, silver, brittle and white;
And I heard a dark bird drearily warble:
“Nero’s night is another night.”

[from “Altars and Jesters”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 140 and Night Images, p. 28]